Arab Today, arab today toyota yaris is bigger cheesey kinda fun
Last Updated : GMT 18:25:01
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Toyota Yaris is bigger, cheesey, kinda fun

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Toyota Yaris is bigger, cheesey, kinda fun

New york - Arabstoday

Happens often, and car companies always say it\'s in response to what customers say they want. Today\'s Honda Civic is as big as yesterday\'s Honda Accord, for instance. Today\'s Scion xB is huge compared with the original. Seemingly on cue, Toyota has put the stretcher on its Yaris subcompact for 2012. The car\'s now a few inches bigger and — trickier to do — a few pounds lighter. The sedan\'s been dropped. Yaris now comes only as a three-door or five-door hatchback. The new Yaris platform is related to that of the Prius c, the new small car joining the Prius hybrid lineup, so the Yaris needed some modifications if only to be in synch mechanically with the new Prius. Short take on Yaris: Cheap-o, but roomier and more fun to drive than expected. The angular lines on such a stubby car won\'t please all eyes. Though larger outside, the new Yaris isn\'t necessarily bigger inside, despite Toyota\'s claims that the new car has \"up to 68% more cargo room along with additional headroom and passenger volume.\" The company offers \"some clarifications\" and acknowledges \"what seem to be errors\" in documents on the automaker\'s media website. Toyota says the 2011, not the 2012, actually has more headroom. And the 2011 three-door, not the 2012, has slightly more passenger space. But the five-door does get a bit more passenger space for 2012. Cargo space grew, but by about 30%, not 68%. But Yaris remains a bitty machine. Even after stretching, it\'s about 7 inches shorter than Honda\'s Fit subcompact. Yaris SE, the sport model, has honest sporting hardware, such as bigger wheels and tires (which widen the turning circle a lot), disc brakes on four wheels instead of just the fronts, and a different steering system. All of which made the test car, an SE five-door with manual transmission, worth a near-smile most every time. It loved tight \"S\" curves at moderately shocking speeds. Got a tad unsettled when pushed beyond that, though, into the zone where any police officer watching would feel compelled to ruin your whole day. The clutch was trickier to engage smoothly than some rivals\'. And the shift lever sometimes defaulted to balkiness, requiring a little jerk to get out of one gear and aimed at the next. On balance, though, the manual usually was pleasant and inviting. Seats are comfy, front and back, and the car feels much roomier than its specs suggest. Front especially, because there\'s no fat console or towering center stack of controls. And the rear has unexpected knee and toe space. That wide-open feel means adults can be happy inside. And, imagine this, the visors are well-done. They swing sideways, and small extension visors pull out from each to expand the sun blocking. If only there were auxiliary visors to shield the windshield while you simultaneously block the side windows, then Yaris would get the Golden Visor award. But cheap, geez, it is: •Inside edges of the front seats beside the center console aren\'t upholstered. Only things shielding the naked metal frames is a rectangular flap of felt-like material attached at the top. Toyota says those panels are a plus, meant to block dropped items from rolling out of reach into the seat mechanism. Helpful, not cheesy, it says. Same idea occurred to Nissan, which has similar front seat flaps in the new Versa sedan, in which they look and feel no better. •Hard, slick plastic trays in the console let your phone, iPod, etc. slide and clank. That felt seat skirting would have been better used to line the trays. •Door handles \"clack\" as if made from flimsy material. Make you wince when you open the car. Yaris\' biggest problem is that there are a bunch of fresh, inviting new subcompacts on the market, and most of them, while hardly luxurious, are further along the premium scale than the Yaris is. •What? Redesign of front-wheel-drive subcompact to make it bigger. Offered as three-door or five-door hatchback. Four-door sedan discontinued. •When? On sale since fall. •Where? Made in Japan. •How much? Base L three-door with five-speed manual starts at $14,875 with shipping to $17,960 to start for SE five-door automatic. Test car: $17,389 for five-door SE manual with optional floor mats and cargo net. •What makes it go? Same 1.5-liter four cylinder as last year, rated same 106 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, but 103 pounds-feet of torque at 4,200, down 1 lb.-ft. Mated to lighter four-speed automatic (with same ratios) or same five-speed manual. •How big? Grew a few inches, lost a few pounds. Similar to but shorter than a Honda Fit. Yaris is 153.5 inches long (vs. 150.6 in 2011), 66.7 in. wide (no change), 59.4 in. tall (vs. 60) on a 98.8-in. wheelbase (vs. 96.9). Weighs 2,295 to 2,315 lbs. (vs. 2,311 to 2,364). Cargo space: 12.3 cubic feet. Passenger space: 84.4 cu. ft. (three-door) or 85.1 cu. ft. (five-door). •How thirsty? Manual is rated 30 miles per gallon in town, 38 highway, 33 combined. Automatic: 30/35/32. Burns regular, holds 11.1 gal. SE, manual test car got 26.1 (3.83 gallons per 100 miles) in frisky suburban running. From: USA today

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